Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after Rorate coeli, The Fourth Sunday in Advent

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Malachi 3:1-7 (NKJV)

1 “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. 2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. 4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old, as in former years. 5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against perjurers, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien—because they do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts. 6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.


The Lord’s Messenger, St. John the Baptizer, daily prepares us to receive Christ by urging us to repent. Though long dead, the Baptizer still sits as a refiner and purifier of silver, using the heat of the divine law to show us our sins. His preaching is still a refiner’s fire and launderer’s soap, scrubbing sin from all who will hear His Word in humility. St. John’s message echoes throughout history, calling all men to repent and believe the Gospel of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.

As it was in John’s day, so it is our own. Many will not hear the Word of repentance and remission of sin for Christ’s sake. Many close their ears to this teaching, preferring their sorceries, adulteries, perjuries, and their selfishness which closes their hearts to the needs of their neighbor. Rejoicing and reveling in their sinfulness they ignore St. John’s message because they love their sin. The Law John preached remains in effect in our age though. The Lord comes in judgment against all those who do not fear Him in faith.

The Lord does not change. He is the only constant in the entire creation. Not only does His law remain, but so does His Gospel, that men’s sins are forgiven when they believe that Christ has atoned for their sins. God so loved the world that He sent Christ to earn righteousness for sinners. He demonstrates His constant love by providing the Ministry and the sacraments so that the righteousness of Christ may be bestowed on all who believe. He does not change. He will not revoke his holy gospel.

Lord God, keep us steadfast in Your word of repentance that we may daily receive the remission of all our sins on account of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

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